Review - Billu: needs to trim SRK

wogma rating: The keen should rent; else TV (?)
quick review:

The stargiri is truly a huge put-off. So bad that even though the dialogues have a consistent, fresh bounce and Billu starts of as an interesting character, it falls flat as the film progresses. Human emotions can keep you glued as long as there's some movement in them. Just Irrfan's brilliant facial muscle movement does not suffice. Simple, at-times sweet but predictable too.

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Wogma Review

"Look at me people, I am the star, who needs police protection". "Hey...even if you can't see me, you won't miss the star who offends politicians... that's ...ME!"

Even if the credit rolls claim that Shah Rukh Khan's appearance in Billu is only incidental, each frame has a heavy Shah Rukh aftertaste along with posters and songs from almost all his movies. When he's not on screen, awe for his character (Sahir Khan) is persistently thrown around. And Sahir is so strinkingly similar to Shah Rukh that it's hard to think of him as Sahir. And this feels like you are having Shah Rukh for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That is, you are choked up to your throat with the adulation for him. The boasting needs some serious toning down.

Sure, modesty is for losers and kings don't need to be humble. Especially when humility is left to the other character, Billu. Yes, the story is about Billu - his diffidence, his friendship, his dignity. Irrfan plays it with such intensity that this simple, believable character gets me attached to him. Unfortunately, the attachment is not used any further. It just lays hanging out there for the most predictable thing to happen.

This is the bane of a high-profile production house film. You know how it's going to end. So what's left to the writers is to engross you with how it gets there. No number of item numbers with superstars in bikini bras can replace the need for a strong conflict and a charming resolution. The climax does have its emotional peak but it gets there only after a few eye-rolls through a long, long spiel. And it wouldn't have worked one-bit if it weren't for Irrfan's confused, dazed eyes.

Just like the village-fool Billu, endears himself to you, the witty dialogues stick a smile on to your face for a good length of the first half. It begins to wear out slowly but never fades away completely. It does carry its share of sms-forward jokes but it's such a relief to see Priyadarshan restrain himself from the usual loudness his recent films carry. It also doesn't hover around side-issues and sticks to its very basic plot.

He also comments on this star-struck nation we are. How we use this star-craziness to make our uninteresting life meaningful. And in this crowd there can be a simple person who is content with what he has. Yet the crowd won't let him live in peace. They'll make a hullaboo, create havoc, belittle him and make him doubt himself. We also have a potential answer to the recession. Get a movie-shoot going in every corner of the world. Not a bad idea! I, for one, will not complain.

But, the down-to-earth character is surrounded not only by characters with superficial needs but also with artificial surroundings. The houses and other surroundings are painted and then color corrected/saturated to give a very synthetic feel to the already orchestrated frames. They take away from the otherwise possibly earthy look a film set in the interiors of the country could have carried.

Though Lara Dutta as Billu's wife is convincing by her performance, she doesn't gel with the village milieu. Mostly because of the way she's dressed up. While a lot of it has to do with how differently her sari is draped from the other villagers, the almost-backless blouse is a certain giveaway. Even the supposedly-carelessly done hair looks composed.

Anyway, you have Shah Rukh mocking himself and the films he works in, but lately we've seen him do that often enough. Who am I to doubt that an entire village can go crazy with a film actor showing up in their vicinity? I'll buy that. But don't choke me with it.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: None
  • Language: No offensive language
  • Nudity & Sexual content: Skimpily clad women in 3-4 songs.
  • Concept: Long lost friends and the distance between them.
  • General Look and Feel: Light and peppy. Thought don't know if kids under 10 will get most of the humor.

Billu - Movie Details

Billu - Trailer

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